Code of Conduct

MCFI Code of Conduct

Preamble
This umbrella policy covers Massachusetts Convention Fandom, Inc. (MCFI) sponsored events, including conventions organized by MCFI, convention committee meetings, and regular meetings of the membership. Each convention will have an Oversight Committee responsible for implementing the code of conduct. For other events, the MCFI President will act as the Oversight Committee.

Principles
Our goal for this Code of Conduct is to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels free to participate. This is every fan’s task, but as host MCFI has a special responsibility and will need everyone’s cooperation to succeed.

We acknowledge that interpersonal relationships in social settings are complex. Not everyone likes everyone else, and not everyone agrees with everyone else. Disagreements, friction, and vigorous debate are expected. In particular, this Code of Conduct is not intended to interfere with ordinary civil speech and/or panel discussions, even when people disagree about controversial topics. However, interactions that become hostile or coercive do not have any part in a healthy social environment and MCFI commits to addressing problem behaviors.

Harassment is difficult to define, and attempts at an exact definition are subject to rules-lawyering. Different people have different boundaries, and we all need to be respectful of that. If someone asks you not to touch them, not to talk to them, or not to refer to them in a way that they find objectionable, it’s best to stop. Repeated unwelcome behaviors are likely to be construed as harassment. Actions that are sufficiently egregious (assault, truly hateful language, and comparable actions) fall under this policy even if only one occurrence has been noted.

If you feel you are being bullied, harassed, or discriminated against, it is your choice whether to deal with it on your own or seek support or assistance from MCFI. If you choose the latter, please notify the Oversight Committee of the issue. In all cases, we will try to work with all parties to address the problem behavior. If we find that further action is needed, we may issue a warning or revoke convention membership, either temporarily or permanently, or choose some other remedy.

We also ask that you behave with reasonable decorum in public spaces and refrain from actions that will draw unwelcome attention to the convention by the venue or members of the public. Significant disruptions to the convention may also be addressed by the Oversight Committee.

Privacy
Privacy will be respected whenever possible. Only individuals involved in an incident, including potential witnesses, relevant staff, and members of the Oversight Committee, will be consulted. MCFI will make no public comment on any actions it takes or the reasons for those actions, except in exceptional circumstances.

Rules for Conventions
Each MCFI convention shall publish the above Code of Conduct and also have an internal operations plan, both approved by MCFI. The Code of Conduct for a convention should be extended to include specific information about how to contact that convention’s Oversight Committee and how to appeal a decision by the Oversight Committee. The internal operations plan shall include the following: the makeup of the Oversight Committee; the process and the timeline for handling reports; and how the progress and conclusions thereof will be communicated to those involved. The Code of Conduct should be widely available on the convention’s website and important publications. The internal operations plan will be provided, upon request, to members of the convention.